Quarterback Tyrod Taylor only completed 18 passes in the NFL before becoming the starter for the Buffalo Bills. Everyone knew he was athletic, but Fantasy players weren’t sure what to expect out of Taylor in terms of Fantasy production and consistency.
Taylor only had one game in which he was close to throwing for 300 yards last year, but he made up for it by averaging 40.6 rushing yards per game.
And it was his rushing abilities that helped him to become the fourth-highest scoring quarterback in Fantasy Football from Weeks 1-5, according to FantasyPros.
Currently, Tyrod Taylor is being selected in Round 11, according to FantasyFootballCalculator.com.
Does that make him a steal because of his rushing abilities, or are Fantasy players better off looking elsewhere for backup quarterback in their 2016 Fantasy Football leagues?
Let’s take a look…
Tyrod Taylor 2015 Fantasy Football Review
Taylor only averaged 216.8 passing yards per game last season, which wasn’t a big surprise.
In his final college season, Taylor only attempted 315 passes, completing 188. He also only averaged 18.5 touchdown passes between 2013-2014.
But his rushing yards were impressive…
Taylor averaged 546.75 rushing yards per season during his college career. He also scored a total of 23 rushing touchdowns during his time at Virginia Tech.
The 26-year old quarterback only made it through 14 games last year, but he was on pace for 649.6 rushing yards for the season. Taylor was still able to finish, though, with 568 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.
Taylor was only second behind Cam Newton (636) in rushing yards for quarterbacks in 2015.
But one of the biggest issues about starting Taylor last season was his sporadic Fantasy performances…
He would have performances like Week 12 where you looked like a genius for drafting him, but there would also be times where he would make you look foolish if you started him.
Week 10: 17/27, 158 passing yards, one touchdown pass, 12 rushing yards
Week 12: 21/38, 291 passing yards, three touchdown passes, 46 rushing yards
This made him much more favorable to own in a MFL 10 format.
Tyrod Taylor: 2016 Fantasy Football Weapons
It helps that Taylor has a talented receiver like Sammy Watkins to lean on.
But Watkins is still recovering from surgery that was needed to fix stress fractures in his left foot, and there is no set timetable for his return. Although he didn’t take as big of a step forward as his owners were hoping, Watkins really turned things up at the end of the season.
Watkins averaged 80.5 receiving yards per game in 13 games, but he averaged 113.16 receiving yards per game from Weeks 12-17. He also scored six of his nine touchdowns in Weeks 12-17.
If Watkins isn’t in the lineup by Week 1 or isn’t 100%, the brass is hoping Robert Woods can step up. Woods has been on many sleeper lists since being drafted in Round 2 of the 2013 NFL Draft, but a combination of poor quarterback play and Woods’ own performances have left him mostly irrelevant for Fantasy purposes.
But because there isn’t much depth behind Watkins, I added Woods to one of my SCOUT best ball leagues. I won’t have the headache of trying to figure out if or when Woods would be relevant, and I’ll reap the benefit of owning Woods if Watkins isn’t in the lineup or isn’t 100%.
Another way to play the Watkins situation will be to target tight end Charles Clay. After leaving the Miami Dolphins, Clay caught 51 passes for 528 receiving yards. That’s the fewest receptions and receiving yards he has recorded since 2013.
Clay won’t see a massive workload if Watkins is out because Taylor only averaged 216.8 passing yards per game last year, but he becomes a lot more relevant if Watkins isn’t in the lineup.
Aside from Watkins, Woods, and Clay, Taylor will also have pass-catching specialist LeSean McCoy back in the lineup. McCoy only played in 12 games last year, though, and he’s already dealing with issues in 2016 before the season begins.
Rex Ryan says RB LeSean McCoy sitting out #Bills OTA practices this week w a tight hamstring.
— Vic Carucci (@viccarucci) June 8, 2016
Backup running back Karlos Williams wasn’t asked to do a lot as a receiver, but he still turned 11 receptions into 96 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
Tyrod Taylor 2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
Before last year, Taylor seemed like he could offer value similar to Newton or Russell Wilson.
In 2014, Newton threw 18 touchdown passes and Wilson threw 20. In 2015, Newton threw 35 and Wilson threw 34. And each quarterback still rushed for more than 500 yards.
So with Taylor, his 11th-round price tag is fair. He can offer you the upside of owning a mobile quarterback like Newton or Wilson, but he can’t contribute like they do in the passing attack.
That’s why Newton and Wilson are gone before Round 6 in most leagues.
I like Taylor in leagues like MFL10s, though, as you don’t have to guess which weeks he will be worth starting. Taylor does have the 27th-toughest schedule for Fantasy quarterbacks, so just keep that in mind. It will be extremely difficult to know the perfect time to stream him in regular leagues.
I also like him as a backup in regular leagues because you can use him as trade bait if he has a few big performances to start the season.
Just keep your expectations reasonable for Taylor and know why he’s worth drafting in 2016 Fantasy Football leagues.